DUSTIN VANOVERSCHELDE: I’m optimistic that she’s gonna be very happy. COMM: Jennifer Hiles was born with an Arterial Venus Malformation or AVM, a jumbled mass
of arteries and veins in her head and on her face that could haemorrhage at any time, possibly
fatally. She had tissue expanders placed under her skin to allow new skin to grow to be used
in grafts when she has her AVM removed. JENNIFER HILES: I don’t want to look perfect, I just want to look normal.
Girl: They are going to cut the pink off your face, they are going to cut your nose off.
Girl 2: Yeah, that’s gross! Girl: Blood everywhere! COMM: Finally the day of surgery has arrived and Jennifer and her family have travelled
to New York. Two days earlier, Jennifer had her AVM embolised to prevent bleeding during
the operation. JENNIFER HILES: I just know that everything is going to be okay and it’s still scary
because it’s a big change. DUSTIN VANOVERSCHELDE: See you soon! Nurse: She’s going to be fine. You can have
some breakfast. DUSTIN VANOVERSCHELDE: Okay, thank you!
DR. MILTON WANER: So you know we are going to remove the AV malformation, all the way
down to there, we’re also going to remove it from your cheek and your upper lip. This
skin over here is going to be removed all the way across and this skin over here is
going to be used to fix your nose, if we need any cartilage we are going to take it from
your rib and we’re going to make a small incision. But I don’t think that’s going
to be needed, don’t worry about the bleeding. Just take some easy breaths in and out. DR. MILTON WANER: The AVM has been removed from her nasal region. We’ve still got some
AVM alongside the nose, which I’m gonna begin to remove now, but the main bulk of
the AVM has already been removed. DR. MILTON WANER: So, this is the tissue expander and that’s the port through which we were
injecting saline to be able to expand it. DUSTIN VANOVERSCHELDE: How do you feel about mom’s surgery? Are you excited for her to
be healthy? Girl: I’m excited.
Girl 2: But I’m kind of sad too. DUSTIN VANOVERSCHELDE: Kind of sad? Yeah,
it’s kind of scary, it’s going to be okay. It’s going to be better now that we’re
here. Girl: Got your nose.
DUSTIN VANOVERSCHELDE: I’m gonna get your nose. Girl: You can’t get your nose back! DR. MILTON WANER: So the surgery went exceptionally well, I’m very happy. So when she’s healed
up she’s going to look very good. She faced a life of huge problems, she has a husband,
she has two young children, beautiful children, and we’ve now been able to give her a chance
to live a normal life. JENNIFER HILES: When I first woke up form surgery and I was in the recovery room I actually
felt so good that I didn’t feel like I had the surgery at all. And I had to ask a doctor
like what happened and I asked him to take a picture of my face, I was so happy because
my entire face was just white and it looked AVM free and I couldn’t even believe it
was me. DUSTIN VANOVERSCHELDE: When Jennifer woke up from her surgery I had the complete opposite
reaction that she did, I was like super sad about it, honestly like seeing her face all
stitched up like that was really crazy. JENNIFER HILES: I think it was way harder for my family and to see me like that, like
all stitched up after surgery, because they would just think about how much pain I was
in or see me completely different than they’re used to seeing me. COMM: After surgery, Jennifer started to experience some problems as the skin on her right cheek
started to die and the AVM started to come back between her nostrils. JENNIFER HILES: When you’re skin is literally like dying on your face it’s, it’s really
scary, like I would look in the mirror like a hundred times a day just to see what’s
changing and then just kind of pray, hoping that it would get better. But it was comforting
knowing that I had doctors there and only a few minutes away that could you know tell
me that it was going to be okay no matter which way it went! COMM: Jennifer needs some more cosmetic procedures, thinning her nose and repairing the scarring.
She is no longer in danger of dying from bleeding out. JENNIFER HILES: I don’t really bleed very much anymore and if I do, it’s just a little
tiny bit. I’m happy where I am at right now about the progress. Just to see how far
I’ve gone right now like that makes me so hopeful for the future. JENNIFER HILES: I’ve been making YouTube videos, just kind of updating my journey as
I go, like I have a lot of internet support. It’s just…’cause any time I’m having
a bad our rough day I can go back. DUSTIN VANOVERSCHELDE: I just hope that she
is happy with all the surgeries and how she looks in the end, and just hope to have a
healthy wife! JENNIFER HILES: I just hope that all my next surgeries go as planned and the scars all
fade and one day I could just, you know, walk into a room and have people see me for me
and not just my condition all the time.
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